|Farmers of Yên Mỹ Commune, Thanh Trì District, ride bicycles to bring vegetables to wholesale markets around the capital city. — Photo tuoitre.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội is facing a cold January but the low temperatures of below 10 degrees Celsius in the early morning don't stop farmers in the city’s rural areas from waking up early to harvest vegetables and bring them to the market for sale.
It’s 2am in Yên Mỹ Commune, Thanh Trì District, one of the largest vegetable growing areas in Hà Nội. While most people are snoozing happily under the covers, no matter how cold it is, farmers are up harvesting vegetables. Some kinds of vegetables must be harvested in the early morning to keep them fresh.
Loading fresh tomatoes, cauliflowers and cabbages into baskets attached to bicycles, they quickly go to wholesale markets like Mai Động, Yên Sở and Văn Điển to catch the early market session.
3-4am is the busiest time for wholesale markets in Hà Nội. Vegetables are picked up by traders and loaded onto trucks to be shipped to every corner of the city.
The early morning session ends after two hours. Farmers then return to their farms and their vegetables, getting ready for the next day.
Nguyễn Văn Thịnh, head of Village 3 residential area in Yên Mỹ Commune, said nearly 60 per cent of local households grew vegetables on about 50ha of land.
“Most of them are old people aged 55 to 70. The oldest farmers in the village are a couple aged 75. Young people have chosen other jobs,” he said.
“Growing vegetables is like raising a child. We can't let our children get damaged and throw them away. When they are mature, we have to sell them," Thịnh said.
Selling at the market in the early morning helps each farmer earn about VNĐ300,000-400,000 on a busy day, but on bad days, they may not be able to sell all their wares.
A 60-year-old woman named Tỵ told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that despite the pain in her legs, she still tries to ride the bicycle to the farm to harvest vegetables. Then her son-in-law helps her carry them by motorbike to the market.
The entire northern region will experience a strong cold spell this week.
The cold wave is forecast to be expanded to the north-central and central regions, causing medium to heavy rains in several areas, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
The northern and north-central regions are in the grip of biting cold, with the hardest hit being the northern mountainous provinces of Lào Cai, Tuyên Quang, Hà Giang, Cao Bằng and Bắc Cạn where the mercury is dropping to about 7-10 degrees Celsius at the lowest and even hits below zero in mountainous areas. Frost and sleet are expected in some areas.
|People in Hà Nội have to burn fire to keep themselves warm at a streetside food stall. —VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Anh|
The cold wave will lower temperatures to 13-17 degrees Celsius in central provinces from Quảng Bình to Quảng Ngãi while the Central Highlands region will also experience cold weather.
In response to the cold conditions, weather forecast centres are asked to increase daily weather updates and reports, particularly in languages for ethnic minorities living in remote and mountainous regions, and provide advice to help people working outdoors protect themselves from cold weather.
Local authorities are urged to inform tourists about ice or frost-prone areas. Special warnings must be issued for tourists in at-risk areas.
Meanwhile, schools are advised to cancel classes and outdoor activities. — VNS